What would you
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NU continues to make fans proud
LINCOLN No one else really gets it.
The rain fell harder and harder as the fourth quarter grew on Saturday, and yet not a fan
headed for the exit.
Those outside of Nebraska cant understand what it all means, this thing we call
Its not just football, though thats an awfully fun part of it, and all the
festivities that go with it.
There is so much more involved, though, in that Sea of Red at Memorial
Stadium. No doubt the Huskers showed the country what they are made of Saturday night in a
nationally televised game against Notre Dame. And with 717 press credentials issued,
theres no doubt those media folks could tell their readers and viewers how good
But its Nebraska that is represented in that program.
Our boys strap on those helmets with the red N each fall. We take a lot of
pride in that. We dont have a major professional sport. The Iowa border town of
Omaha has a baseball team, and there are some amateur hockey teams.
So, the Huskers are it for us. We dont care much about NFL Sundays. We
dont follow the NBA, and major league baseball is a good drive or plane ride from
anywhere in the state.
No one else really gets it.
When the HuskerVision screen goes dark and flashes a light and brings us to the Tunnel
March music, we feel it all in our bones. We are about to show the country what we have in
the Heartland. We have a bunch of big guys, some small ones, a coaching staff that loves
these kids, and they all represent the entire state of Nebraska.
All of us. They represent the farmers, who dont get a fair shake in the markets
just like the Huskers dont get in the polls or from the national media. They
represent the children, who will soldier on and carry on the good family name even when
there is hail, or a market crisis, around crop time.
The Big Red does recruit top blue-chip talent, but big parts of the program are both the
Nebraska high school boys who go on to play, and the walk-ons who come from out west and
lead the scout team, which is the single most game-preparation tool a college has.
Our boys push and shove often against players way more highly touted by the
national media. More than 80 percent of the time, we come out on top.
We beat Miami in Miami. Beat Florida to a pulp when the naysayers were almost hoarse
cursing our chances. Beat Tennessee twice on a national stage. Took a highly regarded
Northwestern team out behind the barn.
Our coaches bring in these kids and stick by them, through good and bad, not giving up on
kids as long as they dont give up on themselves. Thats the same ethic you
could find anywhere in the Cornhusker State.
No one else really gets it. They dont see the pride when, on the Tunnel March, the
animation of Chimney Rock is shown with Go Big Red on it, or when the Platte
River Archway Monument outside of Kearney has Beat the Irish on it.
They dont understand that these were the lands that guided those on the Oregon,
Mormon and California trails. They dont see that we dont care about the
dot-coms and tech-sectors mercurial rises and falls. Most Nebraskans, either directly or
indirectly, make their money from putting their hands in the dirt and making something of
it, shaking off the back pain from working to the bone, hours on end, day after day.
In Nebraskas Third-largest City Saturday night, we all saw what we hoped
and expected to see, and that is the Big Red giving little ground, taking what it earned,
and representing us the way that makes us proud.
No one else really gets it, because we get from football season what few if any
other programs in the country take from their own teams: Hope. Thats the
greatest gift, along with faith and family, that any Nebraskan would ever ask for.
But we do really get it. And thats why it means so very much, to all of us.